Tell us a little bit about yourselves?

I’m 24 years old and live in regional vic. I own my own beauty salon Steph Lauder Beauty, and I have become obsessed with renovating since doing up ourcottage_reno

How did Our Cottage Reno come about? 

The house was purchased back in late February 2020 after I had an inspection and fell in love, I could see the potential it had as soon as I stepped through the front door 


What do you love about renovating and DIY?

What I love about renovating and DIY is being able to see the change of the finished product, knowing that afterwards when it’s done you can sit back and say that you did this. It’s a massive rewarding feeling being able to revive something. 

What inspires you when creating? 

The most thing that inspires me is Pinterest and Instagram, I could sit there scrolling for days just saving all these ideas on what I want to do and create. And I’ve always recommended to people to make folders and categorise everything on Pinterest as it helps when it’s time to show the builder/tradie what you’re after per room 

Tell us a story about your favourite renovation in the cottage so far?

My favourite part of the renovation was the 3rd bedroom, as we made it into a bathroom and toilet. Sounds so silly, and not exciting at all. But looking back at photos and placing them side by side is such a difference, and is so crazy to think that the space was completely reformed into another 

What's been the biggest challenge renovating The Cottage?

There wasn’t too many obstacles that were faced throughout the renovation, it was pretty lucky actually. The biggest challenge though would’ve had to have been the asbestos removal. Due to the house being so old, there was a lot of asbestos present throughout the house, and ALL of the old weatherboards were asbestos (nightmare), and as we were ‘disturbing’ it by extending and changing the windows, we had to remove it ALL!

5 best tips and tricks for starting a project? 

Plan ahead, in every single way you can. Do your research. Get multiple quotes on everything. Get multiple opinions. Do plenty of mood boards. Write every single thing down that you spend your money on to help keep track of your budget. HAVE A BUDGET! The number one thing that helped me though, was after we had the floorplan, I sketched out every single little bit of furniture that I was going to put into the house (down to a T of where I was going to have a lamp), sounds crazy, but it helped me so much in being able to determine where powerpoints were going to go

Where to next for you two?

I am currently in the process of moving on to House #2! I am so excited. House #1 was a massive flip, massive massive massive. But it’s currently on the market to sell, and once that’s done and dusted I’ll be on the hunt for the next one. My idea for #2 is I want to do a super super budget friendly one, throughout this process I’ve had a lot of people contact me and have been asking the budget that was spent on this one, and if they could do it cheaper, so I think I just want to show people that you can make something new out of something so old when you have a vision

What's been your greatest lesson on this journey so far?

 Learning. Step by steps, and learning everything! I feel like you learn so much from your first renovation, it’s a massive learning curve. That’s not to say that I don’t like anything about ourcottage_reno, I LOVE IT, it’s the most stunning house in the world, but there is some things that I would love to explore differently next time, more whites, more pops of colours, changing it up a little bit, more warmth’s. But I suppose that’s just what happens as you go on, your tastes change and styles change and you fall in love with different things as you go 


What do you look for in a good product for your furniture?

Quality, always quality. When looking for something that’s good for your furniture, your house or anything, you want it to be quality over quantity. Meaning 99% of the time it’s more important about how well the product will look after your furniture than how much it costs (trust me I’ve already learnt that mistake on my brand new coffee table) 


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